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Author Topic: Alternative to Epson Exhibition Fiber?  (Read 10543 times)
NikoJorj
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« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2010, 07:52:43 AM »
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Quote from: Gemmtech
I believe the digital images will be readable far into the future and I believe photo editing software will get better and easier as will printers.
Tools (software, printers...) are one thing, but human will and disponibility is another.
As long as editing will be a human choice, it will still be tedious to edit 50.000 pictures in search of a few golden nuggets, so you may do your grandchildrens a favor by storing well-made prints of your few top images besides the HD containing your LR library and raw files.
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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AFairley
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« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2010, 10:52:41 AM »
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QUOTE (Gemmtech @ Mar 4 2010, 06:56 PM) I believe the digital images will be readable far into the future and I believe photo editing software will get better and easier as will printers.

Yes, but when I print, I am not trying to faithfully recreate the digital file on paper, I tweak white balance, contrast, brightness, make local adustments to convey the effect I want.  At that point the digital file with parametric adjustments saved with it or pixel adjustments saved in or with it at that point is specific to the intended output device.  So I do have an interest in preserving the actual print (to the extent I think anyone in the future will actually care about the work I produced).
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #42 on: March 06, 2010, 03:55:19 PM »
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Quote from: AFairley
Yes, but when I print, I am not trying to faithfully recreate the digital file on paper, I tweak white balance, contrast, brightness, make local adustments to convey the effect I want.  At that point the digital file with parametric adjustments saved with it or pixel adjustments saved in or with it at that point is specific to the intended output device.  So I do have an interest in preserving the actual print (to the extent I think anyone in the future will actually care about the work I produced).
But here again it seems you are assuming that for some reason we will decide in the future that things need to be printed differently .. that we will throw away and make obsolete current technologies such as color management and device profiles so that your tweaked image data printed won't look good.  True we may not need them, but probably because they become more automated and built in rather than suddenly decide that this value of red now represents a different color of red than it does today.

I have an interest in the print itself lasting for a very long time as well, but not to the extreme (century or two) ... I just feel the ability to protect the physical print for that long is a near impossibility unless it has so much value now it's very existence is already extremely important.  My main interest is that the print looks as great as possible for the next decade so, rather than compromise how it looks in the present so it may look closer to the same a century from now when it has little chance of surviving that long anyway.

(I guess I've said this too many time in this thread ...sorry)
« Last Edit: March 06, 2010, 03:56:25 PM by Wayne Fox » Logged

MHMG
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« Reply #43 on: March 06, 2010, 05:48:54 PM »
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Quote from: Wayne Fox
I have an interest in the print itself lasting for a very long time as well, but not to the extreme (century or two) ... I just feel the ability to protect the physical print for that long is a near impossibility unless it has so much value now it's very existence is already extremely important.  My main interest is that the print looks as great as possible for the next decade so, rather than compromise how it looks in the present so it may look closer to the same a century from now when it has little chance of surviving that long anyway.

Wayne, take a look at the digital scan of an original ambrotype image of the Hyde House on the "about us" page" of my website.

http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com/about.html

This vintage ambrotype is on loan to me from a 6th generation member of the Hyde family.  Reverend Alvan Hyde built the home that now doubles as my family residence and as the facility for Aardenburg Imaging & Archives in 1792. It was added on to in 1837 when it became a private school for boys (Franklin D. Roosevelt's father attended school here), and the ambrotype I reproduced on my webpage is the earliest known photograph of the house.  Dating to 1857 the photographer is unknown, but the original image has survived 143 years and is still going strong!  The home has a very rich history and is on now the National Historic register, but no Hyde family member in the 1860's, 70's or even into the 1900's could have envisioned this unique provenance. The photo began life more or less as a "snapshot" of interest probably only to the Hyde family.  No one took the time to record the photographer's name, yet the Hyde family managed to hang onto this "positive print" generation after generation. They couldn't have easily done so if the process was only able to last a decade or two on its own. We might have some second or third generation copies, but not the vintage print with all of its aesthetics in tact.  Ambrotypes are actually made by the wet collodion process on glass that when underexposed and backed with a black backing become a positive "print". The gutta percha case (earliest thermoplastic resin comprised of shellac and sawdust) has suffered some physical damage, but the image itself is in outstanding condition. By today's standards it looks dark and muddy, but the process was not capable of producing clean highlights, and in fact, this image is in pristine condition and looks essentially like the day it was made. Image permanence matters!

My point is simply that human readable prints with inherent chemical and physical stability have a proven track record which digital images still lack. And they establish an aesthetic of the times that later copies aren't always able to convey.  Stable prints also give future generations the time to sort out what and who was important. The more stable the process, the better the odds to span a generation or two in decent shape... unattended for extended periods of time. IMHO, this is a key weakness of digital images. It's not that digital files can't theoretically survive well into the future. It's that they need active maintenance to do, and active ongoing maintenance leaves little room for human error.

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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #44 on: March 06, 2010, 10:10:01 PM »
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Quote from: MHMG
Wayne, take a look at the digital scan of an original ambrotype image of the Hyde House on the "about us" page" of my website.

http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com/about.html

This vintage ambrotype is on loan to me from a 6th generation member of the Hyde family.  Reverend Alvan Hyde built the home that now doubles as my family residence and as the facility for Aardenburg Imaging & Archives in 1792. It was added on to in 1837 when it became a private school for boys (Franklin D. Roosevelt's father attended school here), and the ambrotype I reproduced on my webpage is the earliest known photograph of the house.  Dating to 1857 the photographer is unknown, but the original image has survived 143 years and is still going strong!  The home has a very rich history and is on now the National Historic register, but no Hyde family member in the 1860's, 70's or even into the 1900's could have envisioned this unique provenance. The photo began life more or less as a "snapshot" of interest probably only to the Hyde family.  No one took the time to record the photographer's name, yet the Hyde family managed to hang onto this "positive print" generation after generation. They couldn't have easily done so if the process was only able to last a decade or two on its own. We might have some second or third generation copies, but not the vintage print with all of its aesthetics in tact.  Ambrotypes are actually made by the wet collodion process on glass that when underexposed and backed with a black backing become a positive "print". The gutta percha case (earliest thermoplastic resin comprised of shellac and sawdust) has suffered some physical damage, but the image itself is in outstanding condition. By today's standards it looks dark and muddy, but the process was not capable of producing clean highlights, and in fact, this image is in pristine condition and looks essentially like the day it was made. Image permanence matters!

My point is simply that human readable prints with inherent chemical and physical stability have a proven track record which digital images still lack. And they establish an aesthetic of the times that later copies aren't always able to convey.  Stable prints also give future generations the time to sort out what and who was important. The more stable the process, the better the odds to span a generation or two in decent shape... unattended for extended periods of time. IMHO, this is a key weakness of digital images. It's not that digital files can't theoretically survive well into the future. It's that they need active maintenance to do, and active ongoing maintenance leaves little room for human error.
I understand your point, but I still don't agree. I don't have a problem with your perspective although I do believe you are far more emotionally attached to it than most.

Pointing out a single image from that long ago which has survived isn't a testament to longevity of the medium, only the potential longevity of the medium.  The image has value because it survived, but in fact had it not, it would not be missed.  There are untold images (probably hundreds of billions) of images made over the last 150 years that have long since ceased to exist for a lot of reasons. To assume that we won't be able to preserve digital data and reproduce an image so we're better off figuring out how to preserve a print is just that, an assumption.  But the inkjet prints we make will still fall victim to all of the same challenges that they have always faced, some will be just fine ... especially those that become important enough to be taken care of, but most will end up like they have in the past ... gone.  What history has proven to us is the physical print is pretty fragile and even ones of great value have been lost despite being cared for very carefully through things like fires, war, floods, earthquakes, etc.

I think each person has to decide this for themselves.

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Gemmtech
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« Reply #45 on: March 06, 2010, 11:07:05 PM »
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Some people need to study history and geological time graphs.  Do you realize that 143 years is NOTHING, it wont change a straight line on a time-line graph of the earth.  How long do you want a print to survive? And for what purpose?  "Everything about this house
Was born to grow and die"  Great lyrics, except maybe it should be earth instead of house!  Unfortunately there's no way to make a print today last for 10000 years.  As time goes by more and more photographs will be taken making the photographs of today irrelevant including AA.  da Vinci, Rembrant, Renoir, van Gogh, Monet, An-He etc. they will at some point become irrelevant, it's just a matter of time and we can reproduce their wonderful works of art and make them so good that they can fool a lot of experts.  What's the point?  Read what Wayne has written, you are emotionally attached to something that will mean nothing in 143 years not to speak of 10143 years.  This entire fascination with "archival" prints and paintings etc. is so bizarre, it just doesn't make any sense.  Enjoy what you like today, tomorrow somebody might enjoy the same, chances are they wont.

Nothing on earth has been preserved to it's original state, over time everything degrades (I guess not gold).  The Great Pyramids do not look the same as when they were built and neither does the Parthenon and eventually they will cease to exist; are they "archival"?  There will come a day when they are gone and more than likely forgotten, just like our prints.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2010, 11:15:15 PM by Gemmtech » Logged
MHMG
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« Reply #46 on: March 07, 2010, 07:33:17 AM »
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Quote from: Gemmtech
This entire fascination with "archival" prints and paintings etc. is so bizarre, it just doesn't make any sense.  Enjoy what you like today, tomorrow somebody might enjoy the same, chances are they wont.

Hi Wayne and Gemmtech. I stand corrected.

kind regards,

Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
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Gemmtech
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« Reply #47 on: March 07, 2010, 02:30:07 PM »
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Quote from: MHMG
Hi Wayne and Gemmtech. I stand corrected.

kind regards,

Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com


Both Wayne and I understand completely what you are saying and we get it, the emotional part of wanting to preserve a print.  What happens after we die?  Then our "Works of Art" are entrusted, bequeathed etc. to more than likely a member of our family.  Then what?  Maybe as in van Gogh's case our mothers or brothers or other family members box them up, store them somewhere, burn them or throw them in the trash (Yes, a lot of van Gogh's work were thrown in the trash).

So the question will remain, how long do you want a print to last?  And who will be the custodian of it in the years to come?  Who will care enough to want to save it and take it from house to house?  As Wayne has stated many times something will probably happen to the print before it even fades, maybe a woman thinks it's a Picasso ("The Actor" at the MET) and falls into it    

I believe most of us here store prints and files the same?  I have a folder with all my print versions which I believe are the best of the best so that nobody has to look at 1,000,000 images in order to find the "good" ones.  And I do keep my favorite prints in dark storage in sleeves in drawers laying flat, but unless I become famous (or infamous   ) my children will probably be the only people to care as I did for my parent's prints.

I think it's nice to want to preserve photographs, I'm just not sure how practical it is to accomplish that task.

For the record, I love vintage photographs and have quite a few from my parents / family members.  I have scanned and stored all of my favorites and have even printed some of them to make them look as the original, because I wanted each of my siblings to have one.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2010, 02:37:20 PM by Gemmtech » Logged
tsjanik
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« Reply #48 on: March 29, 2010, 11:32:28 AM »
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Quote from: mlondon
I really like Epson's Exhibition Fiber, great colors, great blacks, great range, etc. However it scratches extremely easy.

I'm getting ready to print out a large number of prints for gifts to people I have photographed in China.
I think that for many of them, once I give them the print, it may not be as well cared for as the paper demands.
I could use something like Premium Luster, but it doesnt have the same qualities or weight.

Can anyone recommend a good alternative to the Exhibition Fiber that still has the weight and feel of a traditional photographic print,
but with a more robust surface that is not as susceptible to scratching (and finger prints for that matter.)

Many thanks.
Matthew
Matthew:

I'm a little late, but if weight is important, you might consider:
PremierPhoto Premium Photo Luster Heavyweight - 12 mil -
Available at Atlex.  I find the paper equal to Epson and it's 12 mil vs 10.4 for Epson semigloss
« Last Edit: March 29, 2010, 11:32:58 AM by tsjanik » Logged
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